Discovery Israel Winter Trip

$2,745 of $30,000 raised

raised by 25 people in 1 week

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ENABLE THEM TO KEEP THEIR SPARKS BURNING!

For the first time last year, 16 Russian Eitz Chaim  campers spent 10 days in Eretz Yisroel on a trip that left them changed people. The trip was outstanding, better than the girls even dared to dream of and we are turning to you to make the magic happen once again!

Please see the below Yated article (in Hebrew) featuring Discovery 2018, and schedule (yes in Russian!) from last year to get a better understanding of what we did!

STORIES AND HIGHLIGHTS FROM OUR TRIP LAST YEAR:

*“We were at an aquarium one day of the trip and I was walking with Yulia* and I asked her which fish in the tank would she be- she pointed at a small fish who was swimming against a group of bigger fish. The small fish wasn’t near any of it’s kind. Yulia said that one would be me- I’m small and I do my own thing (Yulia started keeping tznius and Shabbos last year and has been getting many comments about her commitment to do so). I answered her yes I think you are that fish but for a different reason. All of the big fish are swimming in one direction and that little fish is choosing to swim the opposite way.” The battery life that Yulia got from the trip, the pride and passion that she gained will keep her going until camp next year.

*There are those of our girls that have taken tremendous steps since returning to Moscow. “I started saying shema” “I try keep kosher” “Ya sabludyu Tzniut”(I now keep tznius). “This was the first time in my life that I was able to be really me” “I feel so disconnected from everything else and so in touch with who I want to be.” 

*Each morning of Discovery we used the Siddirum (so graciously donated) as an opportunity to learn the Shmoeneh Esrei, saying it word by word, out loud together. On the last day of the Discovery trip during Davening Natalie was scribbling in a notepad. Curious what this girl was busy with, I asked her what she was writing down so vigorously. She answered that she was writing down the page number of which Teffillos we say in Discovery so that she can Daven on her own when she gets home. But once she returned home she complained “That siddur you gave me, what should I do? It is so hard to hide from my mother.” While another girl called a counselor asking her to remind her the tune of Ashrei. All the girls agreed that the Siddur they received on the first day of the trip was the most precious gift they ever got.

*How can you explain what it feels like when Natalie is jumping up and down in excitement in the streets of Tzfas that she knows what that Hebrew sign says. Because she learned it the week before walking back from the Tish in Meah Shearim, and now she read those Hebrew letters by herself.

*This February Sasha won a national history contest – a huge achievement.  The prize for coming in first was that she could choose one day a week to skip school.  Her mother wanted her to choose Wednesday- in middle of the week and the obvious choice.  But Sasha who recently returned from Discovery made the other obvious choice.  “If Hashem let me win this contest, I have to do something to show Him I recognize Him in my life.  Yes, Shabbos comes right before Sunday – the national day off and it doesn’t make any sense.  But it does to Sasha. 

*As Discovery was coming to an end we sent them back with tears overflowing from our eyes in pain for the struggles we know they will face. We daven for them that they should remain strong, that they should keep it up. Even if the airport security gives you a hard time because of your Muslim name, and your Muslim father whom you have never met, yes - you are a Jew, so stay strong. We hope she will take this as a lesson. We hope she will not make the same mistake as her mother did - because what will stop her? Even if the airport security is asking about your adoption, don’t let it stop you, you can do it, so stay strong. When your friends will laugh at you because you dress like a grandmother, you know there’s a place that you are looked up to for your Tzinus, so stay strong.  

WHY DISCOVERY?

We have had the privilege of spending the last few summers in Camp Eitz Chaim, a very special camp for over 130 Jewish girls in Moscow, Russia. In camp, the girls have the opportunity to identify with their Judaism; to experience Shabbos, learn about kashrus, make Brachos and connect with their counselors who come from North America and Israel. We have seen tremendous growth in our campers and many have continued in their journeys to learn more about their Yiddishkeit.

As always, as Camp Eitz Chaim comes to an end, both the campers and the counselors started to get pits in their stomachs.

The campers wonder... How can I say the Brachos without my mother seeing me? How can I manage school without writing tests on Shabbos? What will my friends say if I wear a skirt?

The counselors wonder... How will the girls survive their rough family situations, their rigid school life, their lives where no one can understand them?

We wonder how will they maintain their growth through the dark Russian winter?

Two years ago, we started dreaming about running a winter camp in Yerushalayim for a group of 15 select campers. This would allow them to keep the connections! Give them a chance to spend time with their counselors, feel Eretz Yisroel's Kiddusha and spend 10 days living in an authentic frum atmosphere.

We are turning to you, in order to help turn this dream into a reality.

We are working with a team of former counselors who live in Israel and are volunteering their time to make this a reality. We are hoping to be able to keep the cost of the trip at under $30,000. This will include airfare, accommodations and excursions. We are asking for your help in this exciting venture.

Cheques in America should be made out to Operation Open Curtain, and Canadian Donations to Canadian Foundation and are tax deductible. Please email us at campeitzchaimmoscow@gmail.com for more details.

Thank you for your help,

DISCOVERY

*names have been changed

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$2,745 of $30,000 raised

raised by 25 people in 1 week

Created by

Discovery Israel Winter Trip
September 2018

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Anonymous donated

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In honor of Elisheva Berinstien

Shaindy Wolf donated

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In honor of my dear parents and siblings

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David Becker donated

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Laurie Blumenstrauch donated

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Rachel Reids donated

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Daniella Karfunkel donated

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Rachel Karmel donated

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In honor of All my russian girls who i love and miss!

Menucha donated

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Nechama Gutmann donated

5 days ago $50.00
In honor of Chavi, Atara, Henna Chaya, and all of our very special, dear campers

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